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New York Giants’ Martellus Bennett Rated No. 1 Pending Free Agent Tight End

February 14th, 2013 at 9:00 AM
By Dan Benton

The New York Giants hope to re-sign tight end Martellus Bennett, and he has already acknowledged he would like to return in 2013, but as free agency draws nearer, the Black Unicorn's value continues to increase. Already there are rumors that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will pursue him once the new league year starts, and the Carolina Panthers are sure to follow.

Bennett's rise to the top should come as no real surprise to anyone. After finally being freed from the Dallas Cowboys, Bennett came to New York revitalized and eager to prove his worth. He did just that by demonstrating he's a multi-facetted talent capable of more than just blocking. He was a huge asset to Eli Manning & Co. in the passing game, and also showed a rare ability to play through intense pain and serious injury.

On Thursday, Pro Football Focus released their 2013 free agent tight end rankings, and sitting right at the top was Mr. Bennett himself.

"After spending the first part of his career as a backup in Dallas, Bennett signed a one-year, ‘prove-it’ deal with the Giants, and, by season’s end, he proved he could do it all. He had already shown himself as a great run blocker, and this year proved he can support the passing game as well, as he posted 70 or more yards in four games. While he may never lead the league as a receiving tight end, it is rare to find someone who can truly do it all at the position."

Bennett is about to cash in, and rightfully so. Many, including us here at Giants 101, remain hopeful that it's with Big Blue, but rumors are already beginning to circulate that the Giants may be preparing to seek his replacement. In fact, Mel Kiper reported on Wednesday that General Manager Jerry Reese & Co. may be one of three teams looking into a tight end in the first round of the NFL Draft.

With cap issues a large concern, Bennett may have priced himself out of their range with an impressive 2012 campaign.

photo credit: Marianne O'Leary via photopin cc

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Tags: Dallas, Dallas Cowboys, Football, Martellus Bennett, New York, New York Giants, NFL

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46 Responses to “New York Giants’ Martellus Bennett Rated No. 1 Pending Free Agent Tight End”

  1.  Krow says:

    If we draft a TE #1 then Mara should hire a team of psychiatrists and demand everyone in on that decision have their heads examined.

    •  demo3356 says:

      Yeah I think Kujo will realize his dream of a guard in round one before we see a TE.. Don’t think JR, TC or KG value the position highly enough

      •  Krow says:

        Not only that, but a #19 pick is going to get a deal around $12-13 mil … which is a number high enough to retain Bennett. And we’d still have the pick. Then there’s Adrian ‘Enigma’ Robinson. He fits in somewhere, but only Tom and Jerry know where that is.

  2.  demo3356 says:

    LOL and we think we have cap issues and dead wood..

    Albert Breer of NFL Network points out that 10 players account for $110 million under the Jets’ salary cap in 2013. Per Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, three men count for $38.3 million: quarterback Mark Sanchez, receiver Santonio Holmes, and linebacker David Harris.

    The fact that the Jets can chop players or squeeze them into taking less underscores the fact that, in the NFL, long-term big-money deals may end up being neither. But with Sanchez and Holmes each having guaranteed contracts for 2013, the Jets’ overall flexibility is limited.

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/02/13/jets-cap-mess-illustrates-gap-between-players/

    •  Krow says:

      I saw that too … made me laugh. Our situation isn’t good, but it’s not particularly rare. And made worse by our success. But this is why I’m wondering if we can patch this boat in 1 year. Almost looks like a 2 year job to me.

      •  demo3356 says:

        It can be done.. Wil take a MONSTER draft but can be done. Diehl has to go, along with Webster, Rolle and Eli restructuring though

        •  kujo says:

          …which is why it will take at least 2 years to filter out all these high paid veterans and replace them with younger, hungrier, cheaper guys.

          Our team got old and overpaid real quick.

          •  Krow says:

            Kinda snuck up on us. I have to admit that I sure didn’t see this magnitude coming. I thought we had work to do, but damn … this is like a heart transplant.

            •  kujo says:

              Demo saw it by midseason. FF55 saw it during Bush’s second term. No one else saw it though.

            •  demo3356 says:

              I dont think we are in as dire straights as you guys do.. All good teams go through this.. We went through this a few years ago when we cut, Ohara and Suebert and let Smith, Boss and Coefield walk for more money. Last year we said bye bye to McKenzie and Jacobs and let Ross and Mario leave for more money. After 06 Tiki retired and we said bye bye to Pettifalsestart, Emmons and Arrington.. It happens nearly every year. Some are more than others

    •  rlhjr says:

      Of that trio, only Harris is a professional NFL player. The other two suck hippo nuts.

  3.  kujo says:

    From PFF’s Franchise Tag article:

    New York Giants: Will Beatty, OT vs. Martellus Bennnett, TE vs. Kenny Phillips, S
    This season, Beatty finally became the franchise left tackle the Giants had been waiting for. His +10.9 run block grade was the third-best of any left tackle, and he allowed only three sacks and no hits of Eli Manning. Bennett’s breakout season earned him our fifth-best tight end grade, but his run blocking took a step-down and he’s already spoken of offering the Giants a hometown discount. Phillips was reliable on the field, with just 16 yards allowed in coverage, but injuries have too often kept him off the field. While the rest of New York’s offensive line ages, locking up its best and youngest starter makes the most sense for the Giants.

    •  demo3356 says:

      Thats what I’ve been saying… Kid CAN’T hit the market.. He will be signed or Tagged before FA starts.. In an ideal world he is signed and Bennett is tagged and we keep both. That will take some cuts and some restructures though..

      •  kujo says:

        Can’t imagine them tagging Bennett, but I 100% agree on Beatty.

      •  Krow says:

        Those PFF stats .. I’m not exactly ready to make them the authority they claim to be. Football stats are notoriously situational. Not to say they’re worthless … just when they start with 10.9 this and 4.7 that … there’s not enough validity to substantiate those fine measures. Margin of error and all that.

        •  kujo says:

          Yeah I don’t know how they get those stats either. But if they’re saying Beatty was one of the better (not best) left tackles in football last year, I’d be elated!

        •  jfunk says:

          While I agree that you have to take them with some amount of salt, they’re still a lot more valid than most fans (and talking heads) who watch on TV and take what is effectively a blind guess as to the effectiveness of players line linemen who only show up on the replay if they made a huge mistake or knock somebody off their feet.

          Just think of it this way. These guys actually sit down and watch every play, giving a guy a positive or negative on each one. Assuming they have a basic understanding of football, that has to make their general grades more valuable than about 99% of the available analysis out there.

          •  jfunk says:

            “…players LIKE linemen.”

          •  jfunk says:

            Here’s where I think their stats can mislead. They tend to be viewed in a vacuum. Only the players aren’t graded in a vacuum.

            They players are being graded on how well they complete their assignments. The difficulty (and or wisdom) of said assignments are not graded.

            In other words, a lesser player may grade out well because he’s either protected by scheme or simply not asked to attempt extraordinary assignments. A better player may grade poorly because his coaching staff doesn’t use him properly OR he simply has a few more red marks on his resume because he’s constantly asked to do the impossible.

            Succeeding at the impossible assignment 90% of the time is more impressive than succeeding at the cake assignment 100% of the time, but the grades might not reflect that.

            All that being said, it’s hard to look at their stats and assume that Beatty isn’t very good.

  4.  Krow says:

    I’m thinking we could franchise tag KP. Safeties are low dollar tags.

  5.  Krow says:

    Late in the season … watching the teams destined for the playoffs … it was real obvious that we weren’t playing with the same intensity. That’s when I knew something was wrong. Really wrong.

    •  demo3356 says:

      Younger.. Hungrier… A wise man has been saying this for a while.. I belive you were on board very early..

      •  GOAT56 says:

        The first sign something was really wrong was the Bengal game. While we could play pretty well an lose to that team because they are talented, the way we lost was very concerning. Especially after losing the Pitt game in the manner we did.

  6.  fanfor55years says:

    Only way Beatty is not tagged is if they reach an agreement before that. Otherwise he gets it.

    Only way Cruz is not tendered is if they reach an agreement before they have to do that.

    Very likely outcome is that Beatty is tagged and Cruz is tendered. My guess is that after being tagged they get a deal done with Beatty but don’t get one with Cruz after he’s tendered. So Beatty’s here long-term and Cruz is a one-year rental that may or may not (my money’s on the later) get extended.

    Bennett is probably gone. Boothe probably stays.

    •  fanfor55years says:

      that’s “latter’

    •  demo3356 says:

      agreed 100%. Hate to see Bennett go though.. I’d rather sign both Bennett Bros, tag Cruz and Beatty, cut Diehl, Restructure Webster, Rolle and Eli and then fill the rest of the holes through the draft and vet minimum free agents…
      Michael Bennett can play inside and out
      Martelus Bennett locks down TE for the next 5 years
      Beatty locks down LT for the next 5 years
      Cruz gets extended long term throughout the season as does Nicks
      We lose KP, Boothe and a ton of our own UFA’s of lesser names
      Next year we shed Snee and a few other high paid vets and the beat goes on…

      •  GOAT56 says:

        I think you have to cut either Kiwi or Tuck or move Kiwi back to SAM. Kiwi IMO is not worth his cap hit at SLB but could be at DE. Bennett is not a fulltime inside guy he’s just more like a slightly younger Tuck.

  7.  demo3356 says:

    We are still in good shape folks..
    1) Top 5 Front Office
    2) Top 5 head Coach
    3) Top 5-7 QB
    4) Young studs all over the Roster (Wilson, Randle, JPP, Prince, Nicks, Hosley, Hill)
    5) Owners not afraid to spend money
    6) at least 8 picks in the upcoming draft

    This off season is going to be rough with so many free agents and coming off such a successful 5 year but it isn’t the end of the world and we aren’t the only ones. The new CBA is the reason for all the FA’s, when they changed the first contract length they made all players hit UFA a year earlier than in the past.
    The success in the draft and on the field led JR to have to pay a lot of money to lock up our young studs back in 07 08. Those deals are pushing us towards the cap limit, but I have faith in JR to right the ship

    •  GOAT56 says:

      I think people have to realize there is a price to be paid for being good as we have been. Look at Pitt, their roster has more change over than ours and they have questions about older stars. We treat guys like Tuck and Webster as if they are old but they are still only 30 so each really could have several years of good ball left in them.

  8.  GOAT56 says:

    Thank you Dan, I have been saying this about Beatty for a while! I even quoted PFF and still last week I was called crazy to say Beatty played better than Cruz this year. I don’t think Beatty is a top 3 LT but he’s right about top 10 with the ability to still get better.

    That said I still don’t thing it’s a given Beatty’s back because of the deep draft and free agent pool. While he might be better than all option save for Clady and maybe Long the other option below Beatty are much better than the normal year. But atill more than likely he returns.

    I also think as F55 said a franchise tag could provide another year to see if Beatty is worth a big money long term deal or if a tackle we draft this year is ready to replace him. So if we draft a OT I think it has to be a guy physical enough to play on the RT long term in case we decide Beatty is the long term answer at LT.

    •  fanfor55years says:

      Yup, I said that and I still think it’s a smart way to play it, but I don’t think the Giants will decide that risk is worth it and will want to tie down their LT so will tag him and then work out a long-term deal unless his agent is a crazy man.

      •  GOAT56 says:

        My only concern about that option is that the franchise tag is like 10 mil and with our cap situation that doesn’t allow is much freedom to sign others. A long term deal would allow us to lower Beatty’s 2013 cap hit significant dollars like 5 mil which would allow us to re-sign or sign a player of two at position where we need help. Basically a player like Boothe staying might depend on if Beatty signs a long term deal.

    •  demo3356 says:

      Yup..Too many folks go through life with big blue goggles on and dont pay enough attention to the rest of the NFL.. Good teams that draft well have to pay for it.. Good young players dont come cheap..

  9.  GOAT56 says:

    Thomas Davis offers encouragement to Terrell Thomas

    There isn’t much history for Giants cornerback Terrell Thomas to work from.

    But the one guy who did what he’s trying to do has already served as an inspiration.

    Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis, who played 15 games last year after his third torn ACL, has been a regular in Thomas’ ear.

    “I told him, ‘Don’t give up on your dream, believe in yourself and continue to fight,’ ” Davis told Jenny Vrentas of the Newark Star-Ledger. ” ‘I’m living proof, and I’m going to do whatever I can each and every week to show you that it is possible. If you continue to work hard and believe in what you can do, then you’ll be in the same position that I was in.’ “

    Davis and Thomas met last spring at a Pro Athletes Outreach conference for Christian athletes, and quickly forged a bond.

    Davis said he called Thomas “immediately,” after learning of Thomas’ third ACL injury last September.

    By that point, Davis was well on his way back from his own third ACL rehab, and looking more and more like the explosive player he was before the knee problems.

    So he’d send weekly updates to Thomas about his stats, his progress, anything to keep him going until he has a chance to prove himself again.

    “If you look at Thomas Davis, and the season that he had in 2012, the guy was written off. A lot of people said that I should have just retired and hung it up and my knees were bad,” Davis said. “I think Terrell is going to be just fine.”

    If Thomas does come back, he’ll owe it to medical science, and the regular encouragement of the man who blazed the trail for him.

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/02/14/thomas-davis-offers-encouragement-to-terrell-thomas/

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